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eBookWise eb-1150 hands-on review
#1  rmeister0 03-03-2005, 02:51 PM
I have written a 5,000 word review on the eBookWise eb-1150 e-book reader, including a discussion of personal content issues. I have also included some photographs to show the size of the book (compared to two other PDA type devices), and some screen shots in normal and large font display.

You can read the online review here.

Feel free to post comments, suggestions and corrections to this thread.
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#2  PostGrant 03-04-2005, 11:55 AM
I have an eBookWise too.

Here's the skinny for folks on the line:

Personal content - yeah, it's possible. Gutenberg is possible, RB is possible, etc, etc, and if you are enterprising enough, even .LIT files can be converted.

Complex HTML, offline reading - it's possible if you spend an hour or two getting familiar with sitescooper. Sitescooper, I'm finding, is the eBookWise user's best friend. I now, daily, read the Times, BBC News, the Guardian, and a handful of my favorite blogs on my EBW (yes, with hyperlinks).

Weight, readability - the screen isn't as green as it looks in the pics, unless you're reading it under direct sunlight. It *is* a green screen, but the backlight makes it appear black/white. It's not that heavy, either - if you figure out the correct way to hold it, it's nearly weightless.

My opinion: I love this thing. I wouldn't trade it for any Palm/PocketPC - I wouldn't even trade it for a lifetime of free martinis. The size of the screen is wonderful, and the price is right.

I demand alot of this machine and have used alot of the document converters. I'd be willing to answer any questions and help people out making this thing even more usable.
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#3  Colin Dunstan 03-05-2005, 04:02 AM
Thank you guys for your impression on the eBookwise. I am only using a PDA to read e-books, and it seems I have been missing a great opportunity here. Perhaps I should take the risk and invest in a eBookwise next.
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#4  pitcher23 03-06-2005, 12:58 AM
I used to have this reader when it was the original rocket ebook, back in 98 I believe. I forget the model, but the one I had did not have the modem. It was first generation. I had stopped using it when I purchased the franklin e-bookman. From what I remember, the battery life was fantastic and the display was excellent for reading. Better than any PDA that I have owned.

I dug it up a few weeks ago, but the battery would no longer hold a charge. Despite my efforts I could not find a way to replace the battery. I think I may purchase the ebookwise version. I currently own the Cybook, but would not mind having another reader. I am assuming that the ebookwise 1150 can still read the REB format.
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#5  PostGrant 03-07-2005, 05:26 PM
I think it has native support for REB. If not, the Librarian software (is it free? I don't remember, I may have paid $15 for it) converts it.

I just like the ability to put absolutely anything I want on it, save PDFs, and even PDFs can be converted with the right OCR software.

The battery life is awesome. Between 8 and 20 hours depending on your preference for screen brightness. I change mine constantly (reading at the bus stop is different than reading in a dark room), so I get on average about 15-16 hours to a charge.

I don't use the modem. I guess I might if I valued hte online bookstore, but most of hte stuff I throw on it is from my local machine. With an extra $15 memory card, I have 128 megs of storage, which is plenty for any sort of vacationing away from my PC.

The best reason to buy one: screen size, screen size, screen size.

The worst reason: what if your battery breaks, like pitcher's? Doesn't seem like Fictionwise really has a hardware support infrastructure setup.
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#6  BuddyBoy 03-21-2005, 03:50 PM
Quote pitcher23
I used to have this reader when it was the original rocket ebook, back in 98 I believe. I forget the model, but the one I had did not have the modem. It was first generation. I had stopped using it when I purchased the franklin e-bookman. From what I remember, the battery life was fantastic and the display was excellent for reading. Better than any PDA that I have owned.

I dug it up a few weeks ago, but the battery would no longer hold a charge. Despite my efforts I could not find a way to replace the battery. I think I may purchase the ebookwise version. I currently own the Cybook, but would not mind having another reader. I am assuming that the ebookwise 1150 can still read the REB format.
Pitcher23, Gemstar is still offering to replace defective readers, including the old rocket, with a new 1150, for the shipping only cost of $30. You should also be able to access all your old encrypted rocket content on it through the Gemstar servers, which are scheduled to stay up for another year.

I replaced two of my old Rockets this way and have enjoyed them ever since.

I haven't tried using the Gemstar 1150 at ebookwise, but they have talked of providing a patch for it. I have an ebookwise 1150 anyway. Personally, I prefer to convert .lit files and make them into .imp books for both my 1150 and the colour 2150 using the gemstar publisher software.

You can get the details of the $30 replacement program and download the free Gemstar publisher software from http://www.gemstar-ebook.com

Cheers!
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#7  BuddyBoy 03-21-2005, 04:04 PM
The 1150 rocks!

I have a couple of them - the Gemstar models and the eBookwise one too. For me, it's not just the screen size and the smart layout of the page turning buttons, but the form factor and the light weight.

I have a 1200 and a 2150 - those were the big colour ebook readers made by RCA and Gemstar. (The 2150 is just the 1200 with a new label stuck over top of the old one.) The colour is nice and the screen size is great, and the removable batter pack is awesome, BUT the darn thing is too heavy to hold upright with one hand. Oh, you can do it, but boy, does your arm get tired after a while. Not to mention the page turning buttons are on the opposite side, so you need to use your other hand to change pages.

The 1150 is grayscale, and frankly, the quality of the screen could be better. I wish they had chosen a dial for the contrast setting because it needs regular adjusting as the unit gets warmer. And I wish it used SD or something, not smart memory which only goes up to 128mb, but just the same it's my daily ebook reader and I'm not giving it up!
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#8  pitcher23 03-22-2005, 01:55 PM
I wish I saw your post earlier. I wound up chucking my old Rocket E-book after doing a bunch of online searching for the ebook model and the battery. I wound up purchasing e-bookwise's 1150.

I am still reading the books I have on my Cybook, and have not used the 1150 extensively yet. From what I have seen, it is a little lighter than the original Rocket and is quite legible with fantastic battery life. I did notice though, that the original Rocket had a better display. This is not to say the 1150's isn't nice, but the Rocket was easier on the eye and the text looked more clean. I do prefer the built in modem that will allow me to purchase books without a computer, which will come in handy if I am away from one. It's too bad that when Gemstar took over, smartmedia was a popular removal media choice at the time. I wish it took SD/MMC.

All in all you cant beat this device for it's size and price.
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#9  BuddyBoy 03-23-2005, 03:33 AM
Quote pitcher23
I did notice though, that the original Rocket had a better display.
The rocket certainly did, even the 1100 was better than the 1150 since it required no grayscale capability.

But the Rocket was the best and clearest, and there was much gnashing of teeth and wailing amongst users when RCA decided to downgrade Nuevomedia's original specs.

I'm looking forward to trying the Libre when it's issued though does anyone know if it supports grayscale? Images are pretty lousy in 1 bit monochrome.
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#10  Jaapjan 03-27-2005, 05:10 AM
I'd be so nice if they had the EBW-1150 available outside canada and the US. There's more to the world. They're never available on eBay either.

The only RB's which are available on eBay are the original RB1100's. Sometimes.

Annoying.
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